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Greenwash Awards

CorpWatch gives out bimonthly Greenwash awards to corporations that put more money, time and energy into slick PR campaigns aimed at promoting their eco-friendly images, than they do to actually protecting the environment. Nominations for these Awards come from our audience.


BP: Beyond Petroleum or Beyond Preposterous? (2000)
by Kenny Bruno
May 12th, 2010
In 2000 British Petroleum launched an expensive ad campaign, re-branding its corporate image into the eco-friendly "BP: Beyond Petroleum.” We said it then. When a company spends more on advertising its environmental friendliness than on environmental actions, that's greenwash. Three long weeks into the BP oil disaster roiling the Gulf of Mexico, CorpWatch's December 2000 skewering of its new image sadly, bears repeating.

Greenwash 101 Fact Sheet
January 25th, 2010
Here is a CorpWatch Fact Sheet about Greenwash.

UK: Vestey's vegan grandson sees off Shell
by Isabel OakeshottThe Sunday Times (UK)
January 27th, 2008
SHELL has abandoned its sponsorship of one of Britain’s most prestigious wildlife photography exhibitions after protests by environmental groups.

2008 Public Eye Awards
by Pratap Chatterjee
September 27th, 2007

USA: Memo Exposes Bush's New Greenwash Strategy
by Oliver BurkemanThe Guardian
March 4th, 2003
The US Republican party is changing tactics on the environment, avoiding "frightening" phrases such as global warming, after a confidential party memo warned that it is the domestic issue on which George Bush is most vulnerable.

What Are They Thinking? GM Executives Must be Living on Saturn!
by Kenny BrunoCorpWatch
November 7th, 2002
What are GM execs thinking? Their Saturn ad likens an SUV to endangered arctic species.

New from Food First Books and CorpWatch: Earth Summit.biz
by CorpWatch
August 27th, 2002
An energy company plants trees and donates electric cars to advertise its environmental commitment while polluting the air with coal-fired power plants for three-quarters of its energy. Hypocrisy? No, business as usual for many corporations, according to Earthsummit.biz, the latest from Food First Books and CorpWatch, published to coincide with the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

USA: Holcim -- Global Greenwasher
by Lucy KomisarPacific News Service
August 26th, 2002
Along with environmentalists and community activists, big business has descended upon Johannesburg, South Africa, to tout its own "green" growth strategies in the summit on Earth-friendly development. But if the environmental record of one key corporate player is any indication, the overtures are pure "greenwash."

Greenwash Academy Awards Announced at Earth Summit
by CorpWatch
August 23rd, 2002
Oil majors Shell, BP and ExxonMobil dominated todays World Summit Greenwash Academy Awards, beating Biotech giants Monsanto, Novartis and Aventis in a glittering award ceremony in Johannesburg. Local South African underdog Sasol edged out Eskom for Best Picture.

EarthSummit.Biz Launched
by CorpWatch
June 11th, 2002
San Francisco, London and Johannesberg -- In preparation for the Johannesburg Earth Summit, the Greenwash Academy is proud to announce that nominations are open for the Green Oscars -- the premier awards for corporations acting green.

US: Court Says Nike Must Defend its PR
by Harriet ChiangSan Francisco Chronicle
May 3rd, 2002
The California Supreme Court delivered a stiff warning to businesses Thursday, ruling that a San Francisco man can sue Nike Inc. for false advertising for allegedly lying about working conditions at Asian factories where its athletic shoes and clothes are made.

Fabric from Corn: Greenfleece or Greenwash?
by Tom PriceSpecial to Corpwatch
April 22nd, 2002
Is fabric made from corn an eco-friendly wonder product or just more greenwash?

USA: The 101 Dumbest Moments in Business
by Tim Carvell, Adam Horowitz, Thomas MuchaBusiness 2.0
April 1st, 2002
In a perfect world, a list like this would not exist. In a perfect world, businesses would be run with the utmost integrity and competence. But ours is, alas, an imperfect world, and if we must live in one where Enron, Geraldo Rivera, and Cottonelle Fresh Rollwipes exist, the least we can do is catalog the absurdities.

USA: Starbucks Beans Not So Green
by Shireen DeenValley Advocate
March 25th, 2002
By the end of the year, Starbucks will increase its ever-growing empire by opening a coffee shop in Mexico City -- the first Starbucks in Latin America. Ironically, Starbucks will soon be selling gourmet coffee to the very people who are under-paid for harvesting coffee beans. News of the Mexico City shop came as Starbucks was presenting its first Corporate Social Responsibility report at its annual shareholders' meeting in Seattle last month. The report emphasized the company's claimed commitment to doing business in socially, economically and environmentally responsible ways, to benefit the communities around the world where it does business.

Philip Morris Changes Its Name But Not Its Tactics
by Tom PriceSpecial to CorpWatch
March 14th, 2002
Tobacco giant Philip Morris is undergoing a PR makeover. This Greenwash Award says the public won't be fooled.

INDONESIA: Running From Reebok's Hypocrisy
by Alexander CockburnLos Angeles Times
February 7th, 2002
Right till the end of January, Dita Sari was preparing to fly from her home near Jakarta to Salt Lake City to bask today in the admiration of assorted do-gooders and celebrities mustered by Reebok. The occasion is the 13th annual Human Rights Awards, overseen by a board that includes Jimmy Carter and Kerry Kennedy Cuomo.

Greenwash + 10
by Kenny BrunoCorpWatch
January 24th, 2002
This new report documents corporate influence on the United Nations and calls on the UN to take measures for accountability.

USA: Ford CEO Says He's Green
by Emilia AskariDetroit Free Press
October 31st, 2001
Lana Pollack, executive director of the Michigan Environmental Council, likes William Clay Ford Jr. so much that she says she did a little jig on the sidewalk in front of the Ford Motor Co. headquarters after they met to exchange views.

USA: DuPont's Goal -- Change Nature of Its Business
by Harold BrubakerPhiladelphia Inquirer
September 2nd, 2001
DuPont is trying to become a sustainable company but environmentalists are skeptical.

US: Nike Capitalizes on the Anti-Capitalists
by Alicia RebensdorfAlterNet
August 7th, 2001
An angry mob gathered around a train station, passing out photocopied flyers and shouting protests against an unjust company. Scrappy stickers were slapped on billboards, directing passers-by to a crudely designed website. The company they were railing against was a frequent target of grassroots activism: Nike. And the group running this guerilla-style anti-advertising campaign? None other than Nike itself.

USA: Seeing Through 'Transparency'
by Rebecca MeyerDaily Californian University
July 10th, 2001
In a recent gesture of "transparency," Ford Motor Company reported that it was responsible for releasing approximately 400 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases annually, which amounts to a whopping 1 to 2 percent of all man-made emissions.

Nuclear Energy Industry: Sooo 20th Century
by Kenny BrunoSpecial to CorpWatch
June 7th, 2001
The Award goes to the Nuclear Energy Institute for audaciously using a scooter riding teenage girl to claim that a polluting, highly dangerous, economically disastrous 20th century technology is our energy future.

Environmentalists Arrested at EPA
Greenpeace
April 19th, 2001
The Executive Director of Greenpeace, John Passacantando, the president of Rainforest Action Network, Randy Hayes, and nearly a dozen other activists locked themselves inside of the main entrance of the Environmental Protection Agency today. This protest was the latest in a series of pre-Earth Day activities against Bush's recent greenwashing of his anti- environmental agenda. All were arrested.

Earth Day 2001 Award: American Chemistry Council
by Kenny BrunoSpecial to CorpWatch
April 19th, 2001
The ACC's Responsible Care Conference opens on Earth Day. Coming on the heels of revelations that chemical giants covered up the health hazards of their products to workers and communities -- that sounds like Irresponsible Care to us.

US: My Nike Media Adventure
by Jonah PerettiThe Nation
April 9th, 2001
Nike's website allows visitors to create custom shoes bearing a word or slogan -- a service Nike trumpets as being about freedom to choose and freedom to express who you are. Confronted with Nike's celebration of freedom and their statement that if you want it done right, build it yourself, I could not help but think of the people in crowded factories in Asia and South America who actually build Nike shoes.

Name Human Rights Themed Advertising
CorpWatch
March 22nd, 2001
CorpWatch is holding a contest to name the phenomenon of human rights themed or humanitarian advertising and PR campaigns.

Greenwash Campaign Profile
March 22nd, 2001
CorpWatch gives out bimonthly Greenwash awards to corporations that put more money, time and energy into slick PR campaigns aimed at promoting their eco-friendly images, than they do to actually protecting the environment. Nominations for these Awards come from our audience.

A Brief History of Greenwash
by Joshua KarlinerCorpWatch
March 22nd, 2001
As the contemporary environmental movement built momentum in the mid-to-late 1960s, undermining the public trust in many a corporation, newly greened corporate images flooded the airwaves, newspapers and magazines.

Greenwash Fact Sheet
CorpWatch
March 22nd, 2001
The phenomenon of socially and environmentally destructive corporations attempting to preserve and expand their markets by posing as friends of the environment and leaders in the struggle to eradicate poverty.

Philip Morris: Killing to Make a Difference
by Kenny BrunoSpecial to CorpWatch
March 22nd, 2001
Philip Morris spends more on image advertising than it does on charity. That's greenwash.

US: Nike Sued for Greenwash
SocialFunds.com
March 2nd, 2001
Marc Kasky, a self-described environmentalist, viewed the Ernst and Young audit as an opportunity. Enlisting the support of San Francisco attorney Alan Caplan, he filed a suit against Nike in April of 1998. The suit claims that Nike's assertions about the labor conditions in its Asia factories amounted to false advertising.

BP: Beyond Petroleum or Beyond Preposterous?
by Kenny BrunoSpecial to CorpWatch
December 14th, 2000
BP says it's a leader in moving the world "Beyond Petroleum" to protect the environment. A closer look shows that their ad campaign is Beyond Belief.

Shell's Climate Greenwash
by CorpWatch
November 20th, 2000
THE HAGUE -- It is virtually an unspoken irony here that the climate change negotiations are taking place in Royal Dutch Shell's home town. Shell, one of the world's largest oil corporations, is responsible for a great deal of global warming gasses.

Shell: Clouding the Issue
by Kenny BrunoSpecial to CorpWatch
November 15th, 2000
Shell wants you to believe that they're working to curb climate change. But Greenwash Guru Kenny Bruno takes a deeper look at Shell's latest ad campaign and finds they're full of hot air.

USA: Why I'm Skipping the Olympics
by Kaliya YoungSan Francisco Chronicle (Opinion)
September 17th, 2000
My perspective on the Games gradually shifted. I began to see that my sacrifices were going to be used by the Olympic Games and their sponsors for ends that conflicted with my fundamental values. My competitive performance would not just be a part of a world community gathering to compete in the spirit of fair play, good will and global unity, but rather it would be sold to the highest corporate bidder for their own commercial gain.

Earth Day 2000 Greenwash Sweepstakes: The World Bank
by Kenny BrunoSpecial to CorpWatch
April 22nd, 2000
In honor of this Award, World President James ''Bonds'' Wolfensohn will receive a low-interest loan to pay for his upcoming Toxic Tour of World Bank Project sites.

Earth Day 2000 Greenwash Sweepstakes: Royal Dutch Shell
by Kenny BrunoSpecial to CorpWatch
April 22nd, 2000
Let's give credit where credit is due: When it comes to greenwash, Shell is simply superb.

CorpWatch Names Winners of Earth Day 2000 Greenwash Sweepstakes
by CorpWatch
April 20th, 2000
SAN FRANCISCO -- Ford Motor Company ran over the competition and won the Grand Prize of the Corporate Watch Earth Day 2000 Greenwash Sweepstakes Awards.

USA: Top 10 Greenwashing Companies of 1999
Earth Day 2000
March 30th, 2000
ATLANTA (March 30) -- Just in time for April Fool's Day, Earth Day 2000, the consumer clearinghouse for the environmental decade, released ''Don't Be Fooled,'' its annual report highlighting the top 10 greenwashers of the previous year.

BP Amoco's ''Plug in the Sun'' Program
by Kenny BrunoCorpWatch
July 1st, 1999
The competition was intense for this season's special Greenhouse Greenwash Award. The TRAC Greenwash Committee received nominations for five of the largest corporate climate culprits on earth: Chevron, Exxon, Mobil and Shell. But BP Amoco, the British company made up of British Petroleum and Amoco combined, one-upped its fellow oil giants to grab the Summer award for Greenhouse Greenwash.

Ford & the Nazi War Efforts
by Joshua KarlinerCorpWatch
November 1st, 1998
The Ford Motor Company's commercial-free sponsorship of NBC's airing of "Schindler's List," the epic movie about the Holocaust, was a class act. Nevertheless, it would be remiss of us here at CorpWatch, not to point out Ford's contribution to Nazi war efforts.

Mitsubishi and Laguna San Ignacio
by Joshua KarlinerCorpWatch
March 1st, 1998
Our quarterly Greenwash Award goes to the Mitsubishi Group of Companies for its ceaseless efforts to portray its various businesses -- some of the most destructive on earth -- as environmentally friendly.

Mitsubishi vs. Reality
by Dr. Mark SpaldingCorpWatch
March 1st, 1998
Here is a point by point rebuttal of Mitsubishi's claims regarding its proposed salt works at Laguna San Ignacio written by Mark Spalding.

Monsanto
by Kenny BrunoCorpWatch
December 1st, 1997
Monsanto IS unquestionably a world leader in agricultural genetic engineering, and has staked its future on that business. It has moved aggressively with R&D, takeovers, mergers and lobbying. And, in the style of this age of greenwash, the company has initiated a slick campaign to convince a skeptical public that their genetic manipulation is a key to 'sustainable development.'

World Business Council on Sustainable Development
CorpWatch
June 1st, 1997
In honor of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session to mark the fifth anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit, this month's Greenwash Award goes to the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

Chlorine Chemistry Council
CorpWatch
April 1st, 1997
This month's winner is the Chlorine Chemistry Council (CCC). The CCC is a U.S.-based lobby group representing a chlorine subcommittee of another U.S. industry group, the Chemical Manufacturers Association. Amidst the groundswell of evidence that chlorine chemicals and their accidental byproducts are slowly destroying life on earth, the CCC is responding with gigantic public relations campaigns and contributions to Washington politicians.

Ford Motor Company
CorpWatch
February 1st, 1997
This month's winner is Ford Motor Company. Ford placed this advertisement in the May 1996 issue of Popular Science -- a lovely mirage-like image of a silver car in a field of beautiful, pink and red flowers. Puffy, white clouds and majestic, purple mountains form a dreamy backdrop for Ford's new car. The ad is truly eye-catching.

WMX Technologies
CorpWatch
January 1st, 1997
The second Greenwash Award goes to the U.S. transnational corporation WMX Technologies for its advertisement in the ''Financial Times,'' on May 19, 1994. WMX Technologies, formerly Waste Management Incorporated, and sometimes known as Waste Management International, claims that raising environmental standards is its whole business. However, Greenpeace has tracked the activities of WMX and its subsidiaries for almost a decade and has documented the company's nefarious activities around the world, finding that WMX does more to obstruct strict environmental regulations than it does to strengthen them.

The World of Greenwash
by Kenny BrunoCorpWatch
January 1st, 1997
The world's leading ozone destroyer takes credit for leadership in ozone protection. A major agrichemical manufacturer trades in a pesticide so hazardous it has been banned in many countries, while implying it is helping feed the hungry.

Imperial Chemical Industries PLC (ICI)/Zeneca
CorpWatch
December 1st, 1996
The first Greenwash Award goes to Imperial Chemical Industries PLC (ICI)/Zeneca**, for its full page advertisement ''Paraquat and Nature Working in Perfect Harmony.''